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Perfect Pound Cake

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Elegant and simple, this rich and buttery pound cake is like the little black dress of dessert.

Pound Cake

Pound cake is like the little black dress of dessert. It simple yet elegant, you can dress it up or down, and it’s wonderful anytime, anywhere. My all-time favorite recipe comes from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, a classic and essential cookbook for all bakers. While most traditional pound cake recipes call for equal weights of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, Rose’s recipe incorporates milk, lots of extra butter, and a little baking powder. The result is a rich and buttery yet fluffy pound cake that melts in your mouth.

Rose writes: “This cake not only has a silky-smooth dissolving texture similar to famous Sara Lee pound cake but also the incomparable moist, butter flavor of a home-baked cake. It’s excellent keeping qualities make it ideal for slicing ahead and bringing on picnics.”

What you’ll need to make pound cake

how to make pound cake

Step-by-Step Instructions

Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, a few words about the method. Pound cake is a “high-ratio” cake, which means that the weight of the sugar equals or exceeds the weight of the flour.

Why does this matter? Instead of the more common “creaming” method (where the butter and sugar are beaten together before the eggs, flour, and liquid are added), high-ratio cakes can be made using the “high-ratio” or “quick-mix” method. This involves mixing all the dry ingredients with the butter and some of the liquid first, then adding the remaining liquid ingredients. This method is not only faster and easier than the traditional creaming method, but it also yields incredibly tender and fine-textured cakes.

how to make pound cake

To begin, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk with a fork until just combined and set aside.

how to make pound cake

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

how to make pound cake

Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended.

how to make pound cake

Add the butter and half of the egg mixture.

how to make pound cake

Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.

how to make pound cake

Increase the mixer speed to medium (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for one minute.

how to make pound cake

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 separate additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to combine.

how to make pound cake

Be sure not to over-mix, or you’ll incorporate too much air into the batter and your pound cake won’t dome as nicely.

how to make pound cake

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

how to make pound cake

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

how to make pound cake

Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

how to make pound cake

Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap or store in a large sealable plastic bag. The wrapped pound cake will keep for several days at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated, or it can be frozen for two months. Enjoy!

how to make pound cake

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Perfect Pound Cake

Elegant and simple, this rich and buttery pound cake is like the little black dress of dessert.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons milk (skim, low fat, or whole)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups cake flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled with a straight edge
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (no need to cut it in pieces)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Lightly grease an 8-in x 4-in x 2½-inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Dust with flour, shaking off any excess. (Alternatively, use a nonstick cooking spray with flour in it, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking Spray with Flour.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until just combined.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 separate additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to combine. Do not over-mix. (The batter may have a slightly curdled or grainy appearance -- that's okay.)
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap or store in a large sealable plastic bag.
  6. The wrapped pound cake will keep for several days at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 339
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Sugar: 19 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 139 mg
  • Cholesterol: 120 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn, I was planning on making this today and send to my sister (in Chicago), I’m in New Jersey. When I was reading through the comments you said: “Also, did you serve them on the same day? Like most homemade cakes, they don’t stay fresh for long.” It usually takes 2 days to reach her by Priority Mail. Do you think this is the wrong type of pound cake to send her? Thanks, Ally 🙂

    • — Ally O'Connor on September 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • It should be okay but she should eat it quickly once it arrives! She can also refrigerate it, which will extend the time she can enjoy it to a week (from the time it was baked).

      • — Jenn on September 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn, I appreciate it.

        • — Ally on September 27, 2022
        • Reply
  • I’ll try again, but mine is dry. I think I baked it too long. 🙁 Next time I may add some almond extract along with the vanilla.

    • — Anne Hastings on September 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello,
    I made this cake before and it was wonderful. I was checking to see if I can use pastry flour to make this pound cake?
    Thank you

    • — Ellen on September 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you’ve enjoyed it. Yes, pastry flour would work here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can this be made in like cake pans ? Don’t have a loaf pan 🙁

    • — Dulce on August 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! I have some heavy whipping cream in the fridge and wanted your advice on replacing the milk with this. Will it impact the texture, etc.?
    Thank you!

    • — Jennifer on August 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, replacing the milk with heavy whipping cream should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Good but didn’t take 55min to cook it took 40mins

    • — Daryl Fitzgibbon on July 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • The best pound cake. Making two more today. I use your recipes all the time and the compliments keep coming. Always say “Once Upon a Chef”never fails to please the palate. Thank you.

    • — Mary on July 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Useless recipe, awful website, too many ads, pop ups, and nobody needs your autobiography. Recipe came out flat, pale and dry.

    • — This is shit on July 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • You are so vulgar

      • — Eugenia on July 8, 2022
      • Reply
    • Wow!

      • — Sheri P. on August 8, 2022
      • Reply
    • What an awful name. You were very insulting. You could have used better words.

      • — Angela on September 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe a few times (double in a big loaf) and it turns out great every time 😔

    • — Lidia on July 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • Want to try this recipe but can’t find the ingredients list, how silly is that? Too busy with all the hype and no list of ingredients! The ingredients list is more important than all the hype! After all that is what I was searching for!! Should not have to hunt ithe list down, waste of my time!! Ridiculousness!!

    • — Vicki on July 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Vicki, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on July 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this with AP flour and it was still very moist. I bet cake flour would be even better, but everyone raved it was excellent. My 9-yr-old even said, any recipe from Jenn Segal is amazing. He knows that’s my go to (we have your book) and the blog of course. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tried and true recipes.

    • — Kay on May 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • Added 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Turned out wonderfully and has a light spice taste.

    • — Gary S on May 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn is blessed! Everything I bake using her recipes turns out perfect…..everything……everytime……intend to get her books…..
    She deserves the support.

    • — Nicole on May 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on May 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can I make a lamb mold with this recipe? If so temperature. Same? Any other Tips? Thank you!
    Kathy c.

    • — Kathy Czarnecki on April 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I think I’m weighing in too late to help but I wouldn’t recommend it as I’m concerned that it would stick to the pan — sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made a double batch of this recipe and it turned out great, reduced the sugar to 2 1/4c and baked for 40 mins.

    • — Nisha on April 10, 2022
    • Reply

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